Dr. Claudia Miller, an immunologist and researcher of indoor environmental health at the University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio, likes to say that the goal of architecture should be to put doctors like her out of business. Although buildings are where we spend more than 90 percent of our time, strategies to promote the health and well-being of the occupants are not always a major consideration during design.

As governments and health officials press to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, let’s look at design strategies that can aid in preventing the spread of all viruses in the modern workplace. People spend up to one-third of their lives at work, many of them inside office buildings. If these buildings were proactively designed with features that could stem the spread of communicable disease, the wellness benefits for the general workforce could potentially be widespread.  Moving forward, when designing or renovating buildings, owners and developers will want to consider such features as improved air quality, antimicrobial materials, leveraging technology to limit skin contact, integrating sensor technology to screen visitors, and space planning to accommodate distancing between building users.

Courses include:

  • Designing for Infectious Disease Mitigation - Kim Shinn and Jay Martin, TLC Engineering Solutions
  • Designing Touchless Solutions for Proper Hand Hygiene in Restrooms - Paul Marquez, Excel Dryer
  • The Restorative Impact of Perceived Open Space - Rebecca Clemens, Sky Factory
  • Visible Light Disinfection - Kirk Chamberlain, Hubbell Lighting
  • Design Considerations for Healthy Workplaces - Kelly McEachern, Perkins & Will
  • Welness Design for People with Disabilities - Ron Davis, Ron Davis Consulting
  • High Impact Design Strategies to Transform Indoor Spaces Using Healthy Materials, Cristi Dunkley, Longboard Products
  • Can I Touch That Surface?, Mary Dickinson, Assoc AIA, Perkins & Will